Monday, July 12, 2010

Latest NHL News

-"Why has the free agent market slowed down?" 2 words. Ilya Kovalchuk. The top name of the free agent class has yet to sign with a team 12 days into free agency. Since Kovalchuk is demanding so much money, he is holding up the other free agents such as Alex Frolov, Maxim Afinogenov and others. Teams do not know how much money they will have left if they sign Kovalchuk, so the other players are holding out to get the best possible offer. It seems as if the Kovalchuk sweepstakes is down to Los Angeles and New Jersey at this point. He was in Los Angeles today looking around the area with Dustin Brown, a member of the Kings. It is not known when he will sign with a team, but hopefully it is soon. New Jersey has reportedly offered him around $60 million over 7 years. Kovalchuk wants $10 million per season, but I am not sure if he will get that.

 -The Penguins do not seem to want to bring back D Jay McKee this season. They have not contacted him since July 1st, which is a clear sign they are moving in a different direction. There are around five teams that do have interest in McKee. The same goes for Alexei Ponikarovsky, as teams are kicking the tires with him, but no team has made an offer yet. That will change once the Kovalchuk saga is over.
-Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks is now being rumored to be another salary cap casualty out of Chicago. Since the team matched the San Jose Sharks offer to RFA defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and still need to sign goaltender Antti Niemi, they may need to shed space again. Sharp would be a good fit for the Penguins, but the price may be too high.
-The Penguins Development Camp will hit the ice tomorrow and I will be providing live updates on my Twitter page from Southpointe. Notable players attending are Eric Tangradi, Simon Despres, Dustin Jeffrey, and Beau Bennett. Follow me on Twitter!

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